It’s summertime! It’s time for going to the beach, cooking out and enjoying all the fresh produce in season! Dying to get your hands on some sweet watermelon, juicy peaches or crunchy green beans? It seems summer produce couldn’t get any better, but it is when you purchase it from a local farmer’s market!
Some may choose not to make the extra trip to the farmer’s market, choosing to purchase their produce at the grocery store instead. However, these folks are certainly missing out, when one considers the freshness of local produce compared to that sold at chain grocery stores.
The produce sold at most grocery stores, especially national chains, ends up being transported quite a bit before reaching your mouth. It often travels from a farm (which is sometimes outside our country) to a distribution center and then to the grocery store. After traveling what can be hundreds or thousands of miles, it is no wonder why grocery store produce is not very tasty or fresh. Also, this produce is often picked before it is ripe and mature, to ensure it doesn’t go bad through this process.
When we compare the process of farmer’s market produce to that of grocery store produce, it is clear why this local produce is superior. The produce sold at farmer’s markets is often picked the day before or day of the market. There is no excessive transportation, as farmers simply bring their produce from the farm to the market with them. Also, the farmer’s often sell the produce themselves. In today’s world of pesticides and strange food chemicals, it is comforting meeting the person who grew your food and having them help you make a selection.
The decision between shopping at a local farmer’s market versus grocery store is also a matter of who you would like to financially support. We’ve all heard of oppressed produce pickers (those outside the country are not guaranteed US minimum wage) and the scary chemicals that can be found in our produce. By purchasing produce from certain corporations, one is supporting unethical practices and giving the company little incentive to change their ways. However, purchasing local produce from farmer’s markets supports the local farmers who work to feed the community and often choose sustainable and ethical practices.
Not interested in produce? Many farmer’s markets also sell milk eggs, cheese and other locally produced foods. So even if you don’t like to eat your fruits and vegetables, farmer’s markets still have something to offer! Have I persuaded you to check out a farmer’s market yet? Good, now let me help you locate some farmer’s markets in Boston.
SoWa Open Market– Open Sundays 10AM- 4PM at 540 Harrison Ave. in South Boston until October 28th. This market features not only food, but also clothing and crafts from local artisans!
Copley Square Farmers Market– Open Tuesdays and Fridays 11AM- 6PM at 139 St. James Ave. until November 20th.
Roslindale Farmers Market– Open Saturday mornings 9AM- 1:30PM at the corner of Washington St. and Cummins Hwy until October 27th.
Above are only a few of the great farmers markets Boston has to offer! I hope you visit a farmers market and enjoy the fresh air and tasty produce!
-Marilyn Willmoth, Future Boston Intern